In her New Year’s Eve Blog post, Lauren Slayton, MS, RD and Foodtrainers owner challenged us to “check back on February 1”. With January in the books, I thought I’d accept her challenge and ask everyone: where are your New Year’s Resolutions?
After 31 days of 2011, have you given up or have you stood strong in your plan for self-improvement? I am on the road to success, but there is still time before my new habits will be cemented as routine, and I’ve still slipped a few mornings this month when I did not hear my alarm in time. Below are some steps I’m taking to – once and for all – stop my poor sleep habits. What are your goals, and how are you making them happen this year?
Resolution: Sleep at least seven hours a night
Go To Bed Earlier
Even on weekends. Even if you work better, party better, feel better at night. Attempting to rise at a consistent time each day is essential from every sleep article I’ve read on the subject. I’ve never been able to fall asleep early, even when exhausted, so this has been the biggest hurdle. I’m like a vampire – I like to sleep all day and stay up all night. I adore the New York Times sleep blog, All Nighter.
Melatonin – My Natural Sleep Aid
The biggest push assistance in falling asleep prior to 1am has been my use of sleep-aids, something I swore I’d never resort to, but something that is helping me to at least get into the habit of a “bedtime”. I can’t automatically fall asleep at 10 p.m., but am trying to at least make my bed time shift from 1:00am or later by 15 minutes each month. I’m currently at midnight to 12:30 as my bedtime, but try to sleep earlier whenever possible.
New Alarm Clock – The Sonic Boom
An alarm clock made for the hard of hearing, the Sonic Boom not only reaches 113 decibels, but it comes with a vibrating bed shaking attachment. It was hilarious the first few mornings when the shaking jolted me into consciousness – but the obnoxiously loud ringing in tandem with a shock of movement underneath me has been enough to make me jump up and actually wake up.
I am moving closer to work. Currently, it takes me over an hour to reach the office. By moving closer, I am opening up forty-five precious moments for sleep, but more importantly, I will get home earlier at night, meaning I will go to bed earlier.
Fit, Fun and Fab in Feb
Two co-workers and I have planned a kick-start into a morning workout routine: Every morning this week, we are meeting at the gym above our office for moral support, and morning workouts. Because I know I’ve committed to meet others at the gym, it is helping me to only hit the snooze buttons a few times, instead of for two hours.
No More Snooze!
Now when my initial alarm goes off, I flick on the light, switch on the news and attempt to sit up. A bright and noisy room signals that it’s time to start the day. I’m now trying to figure out how to avoid smacking the snooze button for two hours – it doesn’t take an expert to figure out REM sleep doesn’t occur when a buzzer obnoxiously shrieks every nine minutes from 6am until 8am.
I have tried and failed for years to ‘become a morning person’ and this year is the year I make it happen…no matter what!